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Styling images with CSS

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Styling images with CSS

Usually, placing the image on the page is just the beginning of making sure it fits within the design of your site. While there are certain properties that you can set manually on an image, for the most part, you'll want to customize the look and feel of your images through Cascading Style Sheets. Using styles allows you to create different looks and behaviors based on where the image is found, the context in which it is being used, and what type of image it is. The other obvious advantage to using styles for image is the ease of updating them.

Styling images with CSS

Usually, placing the image on the page is just the beginning of making sure it fits within the design of your site. While there are certain properties that you can set manually on an image, for the most part, you'll want to customize the look and feel of your images through Cascading Style Sheets. Using styles allows you to create different looks and behaviors based on where the image is found, the context in which it is being used, and what type of image it is. The other obvious advantage to using styles for image is the ease of updating them.

Rather than having define dozens or even hundreds of images, then modifying them individually, you can update a specific style and have the change occur site-wide. So I have the gallery.htm file opened, and what we're going to do now, I'm going to scroll down a little bit, is write a style that's going to modify these images within the gallery. One of the things that we would like to do is maybe wrap the text around the images a little bit, keep the text off of it, so they are not budding right up against the images like they are doing now, and maybe stylize our images a little bit by having a custom border around them to really sort of set them off from the rest of the images within the site.

Now, those are all things that we can do with CSS, and it's not really going to take us a long time to write the styles, a very quick, very easy style to write. So what I'm going to do is go over to my CSS Styles panel. So I'm going to open that up, and I want to scroll down, and there's a whole section here where we just have individual classes. You can see, floatRight, floatLeft, callOut. I'm going to select the very last one of those, which is quote, and I'm going to click right here to create a brand-new CSS Rule. Now, I want to do a Class Selector, and I'm just going to name this class .galleryImage.

So very descriptive name, remember because this is a Class Selector, it has to have that period on the front end of it, and you don't want any spaces in there at all, so just .galleryImage. I'm going to define that in our External Style Sheet main.css, and I'm just going to go ahead and click OK. Well, let's take each of those requirements one at a time. One of the first things I want to do is ensure that the text wraps around this image. So I'm going to go to my Box Category, and I'm going to use the Float property to do that. So whereas you can use the Image Align attribute to do that through your HTML, through CSS we're going to achieve the same results through a property called Float.

Now, we're going to talk more about Floats in the chapter on Layout. So if you're interested in learning more about Floats, there is going to be a good bit of more information there. So I'm going to grab the Float pulldown menu, and I'm going to float them to the left. That will wrap the text around the right- hand side and float the image to the left. I'm also going to do a clearLeft property. Now why in the world am I going to do that? Well, it's basically going to keep these in a single row. If you float one object to left, and then another object below it is also floated to left, the object below it tends to just come up and occupy the same line, and they sort of line up horizontally right beside each other.

So by clearing this we're basically saying, "Okay. I want to float to the left, but don't let anybody float to my left." So that's what Clear does for us, and that's why we're doing it here, so that each of these guys will be on their own separate line. Now, we need to go ahead and make sure that the text isn't going to bud right up against this image, and we want to effect the spacing from one image to the other, so that they're spaced an equal distance apart from each other. We're going to use Padding, and Margins to do that. So for Padding, I'm just going to go ahead and keep Same for all, and I'm just going to do 5 pixels worth of Padding all the way around my image.

Now, what that's going to do for us is it's actually just going to give me a little bit of space between the image and the border that I'm going to be creating. So this is more to create a decorative frame around the image than it is to control any type of spacing. For that, I'm going to use Margins. So I'm going to deselect Same for all for Margins, and I'm going to give it a Right Margin of 1em, Right Margin of 1em. Since this image is floated to left and the text will be wrapping around the right-hand side, that 1em is going to push the text away from the image by 1em, which in most cases will work out to about 16 pixels. Okay.

So we're all looking pretty good. This has been fairly easy so far. The next thing that we're going to do is do a border. So I'm going to click on the Border Category, and I'm just going to go ahead and do a solid border all the way around my file. Now, I'll tell you what. Let's do something a little different here. Let's turn off Same for all for all of these guys. We're going to do a border all the way around it, but we're going to modify that Border to give the slightest indication of maybe even a little shadow. So for the Top Border, what I'm going to do here is I'm going to do a solid Border, 1 pixel, and for Color I'm going to choose #CCC.

That's sort of a light gray. Now, for the Right Border what I'm going to do here is the solid Border, 1 pixel as well. This time I am going to change the Color to #999. That's a darker gray. So the Top will have a light gray. The Right Border is going to be a darker gray. I'm going to use the same Border for the Bottom. So solid, 1 pixel, and that #999 sort of a darker gray, and then for the left side I'm going to do solid, 1 pixel, and I'm going to do the CCC.

So I have got Top and Left are going to be the lighter gray. Right and Bottom are going to be the darker gray. They're very similar grays. It's going to be a really subtle difference. I think this is one of the things where if you try to overdo it and do like a black line there, or even a darker gray, it might look a little cheesy. So as that is, it's just going to be a really nice little subtle effect. So I'm going to go ahead and click OK, and we're going to test our rule out. I'm going to select the first graphic in our gallery, which is the Golden Gate Bridge, and for the Class, I'm going to grab the pulldown menu, and I want to find galleryImage right there.

As soon as I select that, notice that we get a nice little frame around it. That's what the Padding and the Border is giving us. We have a slightly darker line here than on the top and the left. So it gives us a little bit of an illusion of a drop-shadow without really giving us one. The text wraps around it exactly the way that we wanted it to. Cool! That looks perfect. Now, all we have to do is go and apply that to each and every one of the images within the gallery. So there is a little bit of manual application here but not a whole lot.

And the real strength and value of this is that if we ever needed to change this, let's say we decided to do a thicker border or maybe we didn't like the amount of spacing we were giving between our images, we can certainly just go back, modify that one Class and all of the images throughout our site that might be using this would updated. So that's really cool. Now also, I want to point out that this is by no means the limit of what you can do with images in CSS. Part of the fun of learning and using CSS is the creative exploration that that's going to lead to.

So I want to encourage you to experiment with your images, combining Borders, Background Colors, Padding, Margins, all sorts of different stuff for any type of creative effect that you're looking for. The important thing to remember is that you can use CSS to control the visual presentation of images as well, making sure that they conform to the overall design strategy of your site.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89061 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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